Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Monkeyman Productions' Banana Festival

Going to be in Toronto at the end of April? Monkeyman Productions is having their Banana Festival, several nights of short plays re the information below (taken from their website):

The Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas Street East
April 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th — 8pm
April 17th & 24th — 10:30pm late show

Admission: $10 (cheap!)
Buy tickets now on our tickets page!
If we sell out, you’re already covered!

Box office: 416-737-1267
or email headchimp@monkeymanproductions.com

The shows consist of 4 plays, with subject matter ranging from "zombie invasions, superheroes, Luvecraftian horror and celebrity obsession".

The plays:

Monstrous Invisible
Fortress of Solitude
The Second Last Man on Earth

Leeman Kessler, a local Chapters employee and former book reviewer for me back when this blog was still an in-store newsletter, will be playing Howard Phillips Lovecraft in the play, Monstrous Invisible. I lifted this interview from the Monkeyman Productions site.

On portraying Howard Phillips Lovecraft

Posted on April 5th, 2010

As we get closer and closer to The Banana Festival, we’ll be sharing a few little behind-the-scenes looks at what’s been going on with the individual plays involved. I asked Leeman Kessler, featured in the play Monstrous Invisible, to talk a little about how he’s approaching his portrayal of the writer H.P. Lovecraft:

When I first heard that Stephen was brainstorming a play about Lovecraft, my imagination kicked up a frenzy. One of my first acts was to dress up as Lovecraft for Halloween and come to work, complete with my My Li’l Cthulhu doll. I consider that my first audition. As the months went by and it became more and more apparent that this play would be reality, I began to delve even more headlong into Lovecraft’s eldritch works of fiction. I fear my mind began to race with the possibilities of portraying this man who is such an enigma and yet shares so much of his mind and his essence with his readers.

Once the official audition had come and gone and I was secure in the role, safe from all others, I allowed the true madness to boil over. Lovecraft is a man of incomparable style and voice. A man of contradictions that mirror the contradictions of his age. Brilliant and self-educated but without so much as a high school diploma. Raised in aristocratic settings yet living in squalour with no real employment for his short, adult life. Positively oozing with racist hate, anti-immigrant fear and poisonous anti-semitism and yet choosing a widowed Ukrainian Jewess as his wife. When he died, he died in pain and penury.

Playing Lovecraft is perhaps the most enthusiastic project I have undertaken. I won’t know it’s quality until it’s done but there are few roles I have yearned for or relished so much. I am indebted to Stephen for putting these words in my mouth, for DJ and the rest of my fellow Monkeymen for giving me a stage on which to walk, Laura whose vision gives me the chance to shine, and finally Tanya, my amazing partner in this crime.

As a geek in love, it is my pleasure to portray one of the earliest examples of geek romance, set amidst the hurly burly world of amateur horror and science fiction literature not far removed from the escapist world we inhabit. It is truly a delight if a maddening one.

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